2015 Cricket World Cup: Things To Know About Participating Nations In Pool A

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Moreen Ali
Moeen Ali of England hits a shot during the warm-up match against the West Indies at the Sydney Cricket Ground February 9, 2015. The 2015 Cricket World Cup begins on February 14. REUTERS/David Gray REUTERS/David Gray

The 2015 Cricket World Cup is just around the corner. The 11th edition of the competition will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand from Feb. 14 to March 29. With barely a week for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) flagship tournament, here are a few things you need to know about the participating nations in Group A.

Afghanistan

Squad: Mohammad Nabi, Afsar Zazai, Aftab Alam, Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Javed Ahmadi, Mirwais Ashraf, Najibullah Zadran, Nasir Jamal, Nawroz Mangal, Samiullah Shenwari, Shapoor Zadran, and Usman Ghani.

Captain: Mohammad Nabi

ICC One Day International (ODI) Rank: 11th

ICC Test Rank: N/A

It will be the first time that Afghanistan will take part in the competition, having had qualified through World Cricket League Championship. The Afghans have only played 45 ODI matches.

Australia

Squad: Michael Clarke, George Bailey, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin,  Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Marsch, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, and Shane Watson

Captain: Michael Clarke

ICC ODI Rank: First

ICC Test Rank: Second

The Aussies are four-time champions, winning the trophy in 1987, 1999, 2003, and 2007. Captain Clarke is expected to spearhead the team. The Aussies enter the tournaments as favourites, looking strong because of their good cricket performance in recent years. The question is how Clark and Faulkner going to beat their injuries to help the squad lift the trophy in six weeks’ time.

Bangladesh

Squad: Ma Shrafe Mortaza,  Al-Amin Hossain, Anamul Haque, Arafat Sunny, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Mominul Haque, Mushifuqir Rahim, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakid Al Hasan, Somuya Sarkar, Taijul Islam, Tamim Iqbal, and Ta Skin Ahmed

Captain: Ma Shrafe Mortaza

ICC ODI Rank: Ninth

ICC Test Rank: Ninth

It is believed that Bangladesh is one of the teams to watch out for in 2015 Cricket World Cup. According to ICC’s Web site, the losses that the squad has experienced in all the 12 ODIs that it has taken part with only fuels their hunger to snatch their first victory.

England

Squad: Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Joe Root, James Taylor, James Tredwell, and Chris Woakes.

Captain: Eoin Morgan

ICC ODI Rank: Fifth

ICC Test Rank: Third

England is a three-time runner-up in the Cricket World Cup (1979, 1987, and 1992). Many believe that Morgan and the rest of the squad pose a threat to other competing teams because of their impressive performance in the Tri-Series.

New Zealand

Squad: Brendon McCullum, Trent Boult, Grant Elliot, Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson, Corey Anderson, Tim Southee, Luke Ronchi, and Ross Taylor.

Captain: Brendon McCullum

ICC ODI Rank: Sixth

ICC Test Rank: Fifth

The Black Caps are six-time semifinalists (1975, 1979, 1992, 1999, 2007, and 2011) in the competition. They have a great chance of making it in the finals because of their strong record in the past.

Scotland

Squad: Preston Mommsen, Kyle Coetzer, Richie Berrington, Freddie Coleman, Matthew Cross, Josh Davey, Alisdair Evans, Hamish Gardiner, Majid Haq, Michael Leask, Matt Machan, Calum Macleod, Safyaan Sharif, Rob Taylor, and Iain Wardlaw.

Captain: Preston Mommsen

ICC ODI Rank: N/A

ICC Test Rank: N/A

Scotland will be playing for its third Cricket World Cup appearance. They qualified for the group stages in 1999 and 2007. However, they have yet to any remarkable performance in the competition. For this year’s World Cup, Scotland has a great chance of winning against Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Mommsen is looking optimistic even though they come into the tournament as underdogs.

Sri Lanka

Squad: Angelo Mathews, Tillakaratine Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, and Sachithra Senanayake.

Captain: Angelo Mathews

ICC ODI Rank: Fourth

ICC Test Rank: Sixth

Sri Lanka won the Cricket World Cup in 1996. It is still expected that they can snatch wins in the competition when it kicks off on Valentine’s Day. In addition, the Sri Lankan government’s lucrative bonus offer is likely to boost the team’s spirit to win the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

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